Interview with William Lucy

Tell me about inviting King in March, why, what it had to do with morale?


Ah, in March when the decision began to, at least the, ah, issue began to be discussed about inviting Dr. King to come to Memphis, it, it grew out of the frustrations of, of the city and I guess maybe the, the, the media really putting a lid on, ah, what was taking place in Memphis. Ah, we were 47 days into the strike and, ah, nobody knew it except us and the city of Memphis. Um, Roy Wilkins had come to town, ah, Bayard Rustin had come to town to speak in support of the strike, but it still, there was no understanding beyond the city as to what was taking place. Ah, the invitation to Dr. King to come was that, we believed that he would, ah, not only, you know, lend his moral support to the strike, but he was in the midst of organizing the Poor People's Campaign and we just really thought that that would be a good, ah, ah, movement for him to identify with, that there would be national media with him that would, ah, in effect take an interest in what was taking place.